The Liberal Democrats have said they will find a replacement for Tim Walker, their former candidate in Canterbury who stood down to help Labour.
The Lib Dems' Paula Ferguson says the party will field a candidate against Labour's Rosie Duffield in Canterbury as people should "have a chance to vote for a Remain candidate.'— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) November 12, 2019
Earlier today the Lib Dem's candidate stood down over fear of dividing the Remain vote#Newsnight pic.twitter.com/sDIAM9X6Ji
Canterbury is considered one of the country’s most marginal seats, with Labour being elected there in 2017 for the first time in over 100 years with a 187 voter margin.
Paula Ferguson, the Lib Dem candidate for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford, told BBC Newsnight the party will field a candidate against Labour’s Rosie Duffield as people should “have a chance to vote for a Remain candidate”.
Walker, who writes for The New European, stood down after criticism he could split the Remain vote and lead to the election of a pro-Brexit MP.
He had been selected by the Lib Dems but said: “The thought of me standing at the count beside a vanquished Rosie as our common enemy raised her hands in triumph is what had been keeping me awake and eventually decided me upon this course of action.”
'Our preference is to have a 2nd ref, but if we win a general election & are in a position to implement our preferences, we promise not to do so.' Has a political party promised not to implement its preference in any policy area if it becomes the government ever before?— ??? ??? (@SunWuTzu) November 13, 2019
However Ferguson told Newsnight: “So we are actually the party that wants a People’s Vote, but it’s purely because we have tried 17 times to get a People’S Vote through parliament and other parties have blocked it.
“There are moderate Labour MPs and Rosie Duffield is one of those and she is a Remainer. But she is part of a party that is not a Remain party. The Labour Party could have joined the Remain alliance but they chose not to.”
While Labour has not joined the Lib Dems in the Labour alliance, Tim Walker’s decision to help the party was seen as a chance to give as “many decent, independent-minded people in the Commons after this election as possible. I want no part in depriving even one of them of a seat.”
Emily Maitlis asked Ferguson why the Lib Dems would field a candidate “knowing that the Tories could take that then incredibly marginal seat”.
Ferguson then confirmed the party would be fielding a candidates as they “want people to have a choice to vote for a remain candidate”.